Legazpi City (Nov. 29, 2016) – The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges today announced that there will be no cover-up in their investigation of Sen. Leila De Lima, refuting allegations of some legislators in the Lower House.
Senator Vicente Sotto III, chairman of the said committee, instead reasoned out that they were just following due process.
Speaking in a media interview, Sotto stated that the senate cannot take action for or against a colleague without proper procedure.
The senator also dismissed the impression that the senate was an “all-boys-club” protecting each other as it was claimed in the past.
He cited that to dispel such suspicion, he does not agree that committee hearings should be held in executive session or behind closed doors.
Sotto declared that such sessions should be made public with the presence of the media.
In that way, the senator contended, the constituents would be able to see what is going on.
He stressed that, if indeed, Sen. De Lima is guilty of the accusations against her, she would have to face the consequences.
This was the senate chairman’s response to a public outcry calling for the expulsion of Sen. De Lima from the senate.
It came after the lady-senator was implicated in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary and her illicit relationship with her former driver and bodyguard.
To date, two major witnesses (alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and former lover Ronnie Dayan) directly linked her to the drug trade. (J. Garalde)